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Do You Need an Angiogram?

An angiogram is a special X-ray test that produces images of your blood vessels. These images can show if you have arterial blockages.

Angiograms are important diagnostic tests because they can shape the rest of your treatment plan. Over 1 million Americans benefit from this procedure every year, but how do you know if you need an angiogram in the first place?

Here at Vascular Specialists, our experienced team of vascular surgeons includes angiography in our gold standard of care. In this article, we answer your questions about angiograms and cover the top reasons that you might benefit from one.

What is an angiogram?

Angiograms are minimally invasive diagnostic tests that reveal important information about your blood vessels. The images produced show details of blocked arteries and help your doctor choose a course of treatment to improve your vascular health.

During an angiogram, a thin tube called a catheter is placed into an artery. The doctor then threads wires through the tube until they reach the blood vessel in question. Adding a dye, called a contrast agent, through the catheter helps the artery show up more clearly on the X-ray image we take to get a better look at the problem. 

How to tell if you need an angiogram

If we recommend an angiogram, you more than likely already have symptoms of a vascular issue such as arterial blockage. You might need an angiogram if you experience:

Any of the above may be an indication of an underlying problem with your veins or arteries. Angiograms are useful in diagnosing blocked arteries (atherosclerosis), aneurysms, or other problems with your arteries.

How your angiogram results are used

Not only is an angiogram diagnostic, but it can also be a treatment. Our fellowship-trained surgeons at Vascular Specialists may be able to address your condition during your angiogram procedure.

For example, if your angiogram reveals badly blocked arteries, you may benefit from an angioplasty or a stent to hold open your artery. Instead of scheduling a second procedure, it can sometimes be performed at the same time.

Do you need an angiogram?

The only way to know for sure if you need an angiogram is to talk with one of our experienced surgeons. After a thorough review of your symptoms and health history, we can guide you in your next steps.

Call 815-824-4406 to book an appointment at one of our offices — conveniently located in Tinley Park or Evergreen Park, Illinois. You can also request an appointment online.

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